Here are some appropriate exercises for when an individual is fully weight bearing free of pain and unrestricted.
Balance is commonly impaired post ankle sprain, (first observed by Freeman et al) with reduced time in single leg stance when compared to the uninjured leg. Authors Glencross and Thornoton found a deficit in ankle position/proprioception to be associated with a history of ankle sprains, which results in a delay of activation of muscles across the ankle joint—especially the evertors. This results in a FAILURE to re-correct excessive ankle position. This decreased sensory input from the joint receptors puts you at great risk to RE-INJURE your ankle. The type of training shown here will improve your joint’s proprioception and reaction time, which will translate into improved postural stability.
For the First exercise exercise, find a good resistance then stand on the foot you desire to train. To progress this exercise, stand on your toes, as this will increase peroneal activation. This increased peroneal activation occurs for 2 reasons. 1) Peroneals are a plantarflexor and evertor of the ankle and going up on your toes requires plantarflexion strength. 2) Going on your toes will decrease your base of support, thus increasing demand of all ankle stabilizers, peroneals included. The second exercise I use a wobble board both bilaterally and unilaterally in multiple planes.
Note: This type of training will target the underlying impairments by re-establishing and strengthening the ankle’s ligamentous and muscular protective reflexes.
Citation: “Chronic lateral instability of the ankle in athletes” By: Karlsson et al. “The role of proprioception in chronic ankle instability” By: Lephart et al.